I have struggled with how to write this. But this morning as I listen to praise music on my computer I feel led to just write. So, here goes.
Let me say that I have always been a believer of healings. I believe that God heals us in many ways. I have never experienced it or watched it happen with someone else, but I have felt the hand of God on me on more than one occasion. The first time I felt it was the day I decided that I wanted to be baptized into the Catholic Church. (I am not attending St. Cuthbert Episcopal Church) I was 15 and had been raised in a non-denomination church. I had never been baptized. I knew I needed more structure in my life (I was, after all a teenager) and decided I should get it from church. I began studying the different religions, and ultimately decided that I wanted to attend the Catholic Church that my grandma attended. I was praying one night about this decision and when I decided I felt this overwhelming sense of joy come over me. I started crying and I just knew that God was encircling me with the Holy Spirit and I was making the right decision. I was alone when this happened, and have told only a handful of people about it.
The next time I felt the hand of God, I actually heard His voice. A few years ago we were attending St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Katy, Texas. We were taking my children and my sister's children to a children's program on Wednesdays called Veggie Kids. Well after over a year of doing this my oldest niece told us that she had been molested by Mr. Fletcher. She is still in a mental treatment facility to this day and it has now been over 3 years. You can imagine this had a profound effect on our church life and our spiritual life. Unfortunately we learned first hand that a church is a church of people. Even though it is a house of God, the people are still broken. The hardest part about that was that the people of St. Paul's did not so their part to take care of us. Instead they were more concerned with sweeping the whole issue under the rug to avoid bad publicity. They were in the process of building a new building and didn't want to lose any pledges. Even in the church it all boiled down to money.
You can imagine this sent us into a period of time when we did not attend any church at all. I never lost my faith in God, but I definitely lost my faith in people. As time went on and we continued to pray about what to do I really didn't want my children to have the joy of being involved in church taken away from them. We decided that even though we were still scared to death of going back to church the worst thing that could happen here is our children could inherit that fear and never have church for themselves. So, we spent about a year going to several different churches, and none of them really seemed quite right. Then one Sunday I went to a Presbyterian Church. The minute we sat down my oldest son (who I consider to be a spiritual leader in some form) started to freak out. He never does this. My children rarely go to children's church because they like to stay in church and listen to the sermon. My oldest pulls out the Bible and follows along. I ended up walking out about 15 minutes in. But, I got out to and told the kids they weren't getting out of church that easy, and I went right across the street to St. Cuthbert's Episcopal Church. We went in and sat in the back row. In the middle of the sermon Fr. Desmond pulled out his guitar and started singing! I loved it! After we left church that morning I was praying and asked God why hadn't I gone into this church that I literally passed every day on my way to work before? He said to me, "Because you weren't ready". I heard Him speak, clear as day. People talk about hearing the Lord speak to them all the time, but I never knew what that meant. And often times it means different things, but this time it meant he SPOKE to me.
Which brings me to healing. I have a good friend that I call my pew jumping freak friend. She attends one of "those" churches. You know what I am talking about. I have nothing against them, and I know the Bible speaks of the gifts of the Spirit, and I do believe that they are led by the Spirit. However, the whole thing freaks me out! LOL!! We talk about it all the time, she knows how I feel. But when my niece was killed in the car accident you can bet your buns that Gwenn was the first person I called to pray with me. I have an enormous respect for her spirituality. I have always believed that healings happen, but that I am not worthy and there are others who need to be healed more than myself. I have always had a very hard time praying for myself. Well, you know that my Rheumatoid Arthritis has been progressing significantly lately. I have been in an incredible amount of pain and have had to go through a round of steroids just to get by. I have been taking 3 800 mg Ibuprofen every single day in addition to the supplements that I take from Melaleuca. This is barely taking the edge off, and on more than one occasion I have had to hang that annoying handicap placard to go into the store. I have not been able to fully close my hands in at least 3 months. My ankles catch and I have a hard time walking. I was sitting in church the other day and my pastor felt led to talk about healing and the story he chose that day (a day in which I was in an incredible amount of pain and feeling particularly defeated) was the story of how his wife had been healed from Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was wheelchair bound. And after she had been healed her doctor who was not a Christian told her that her God had healed her. When it was time for the peace he came over to me and asked if I was ok. I told him I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and was in a lot of pain. During announcements he told us that they had decided to have a healing service. (Episcopalians don't do this often). He encouraged me to come.
So, over the next few weeks my pain continued to build. My friend Michelle said she thought it was so that I would know when I had been healed. I began receiving emails from people about healings that had taken place. Weird, because this hadn't happened before. Everything was pointing to the healing service. Fr. Desmond called the prayer teams to the altar. There were probably 15 or so teams that went up there. I didn't recognize most of them. Then he called those of us who wished to be healed to the altar. I got in line and followed everyone up there. Imagine how I felt when the person I ended up standing in front of was Fr. Desmond's wife! I told her what to pray for (we haven't met before) and she began to cry. We prayed and I felt a hand on my back. It was my oldest son laying hands on me and praying for me. (I have not taught him to do this, in fact I instructed him to stay in the pew, he was led by the Lord to do so). I went back to my pew and prayed for others I knew who were in need of healing and prayed in Thanksgiving for whatever was God's will for my life. Then the congregation prayed together. As I knelt there I literally felt warmth around my hands. I can't describe it, but it was literally hot around my hands and knuckles.
The next two days I slept a LOT. I am usually up around 6am every day. I didn't get up until about 8 and took a nap both days from 2-4! Guess what?! I have not taken ANY pain medication at ALL since Wednesday. My left ankle has had a catch a couple of times, but my hands have no pain. Where my index finger knuckle was so tender the last time I went to the doctor that he wanted to give me a cortisone shot there is no tenderness. And... I can completely close my hands!! I mowed the grass Friday night and I felt fine afterward. Last time I mowed the grass I was in such pain by the end of it I literally cried for an hour and could barely walk for several days afterward.
You may think this is all in my head. I guess it could be. But I truly believe I am being healed as we speak. I also asked that the Lord heal my heart so that I could again feel comfortable in church. I have a peace inside me. I am eager to become more involved in church again. I know He healed my heart and I know He will heal my body too.